Xenical Could Be Sold Over the Counter - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Xenical Could Be Sold Over the Counter

Xenical Could Be Sold Over the Counter
By: Ryan Tate

A Federal Drug Administration Panel recommended the diet drug Xenical should be sold over the counter. Right now, you need a doctor's prescription to get it.

According to pharmacists contacted by Heartland News, despite Xenical coming out in 1999, many doctors do not prescribe the drug anymore because of the side effects.

"There are a couple of reasons they stopped," Pharmacist Ben Tally said. "One is it's too expensive. Insurance companies would not pay for it because it was a diet drug. The second is, it causes red, fatty, stool."

Diarrhea is a major reason why people stopped using the drug. One pharmacist says the drug inhibits fat from being absorbed by the body. In some cases, by as much as 30%. Medical studies show the drug helped people lose at least six pounds compared to people who didn't use it. But that same pharmacist says she prefers an appetite suppressant instead of Xenical, mostly because the side effects do not exist.

The F.D.A. advisory Panel's decision is only a recommendation and not the end of the story. The F.D.A. has the final say, but leaders usually follow the advice of its panels.

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